Keep groups engaged, on track, and energized with this $7 party favor
What if I told you that a $7 addition to your facilitation toolkit could help you keep participants engaged, on track, and energized during your next workshop or group strategy session?
Now don’t get me wrong, facilitation is challenging, and a party clapper isn’t going to save you if tempers rise and tables start flying. That being said, it’s an excellent addition to any facilitator’s toolkit and it’s easily the best $7 dollars I have ever spent on workshop supplies (sorry Post-It).
As the facilitator you set the tone for the day. Do you want participants to support each other? Do you want people to feel comfortable sharing their ideas? Do you want to ensure every voice in the room has a chance to be heard?
Of course you do! So lead by example and 👏👏👏!
Did a participant share something unique during introductions? 👏👏👏
Did the group align on a big decision? 👏👏👏
Did the group identify a user pain point that they want to address during the next release? 👏👏👏
It’s truly amazing how engaged and creative people can become when they feel supported. So 👏👏👏 and bring extras if you can to encourage participants to cheer each other on.
Tactfully Redirect Wayward Conversations
Divergent conversations are inherent to group decision making and when passions are high it’s your role as the facilitator to tactfully de-escalate the situation and get everyone back on track.
As a facilitator you will likely be working with people who are several rungs above you on the corporate ladder, and I’ve found the clapper is a excellent way level the playing field. At the beginning of my sessions I explain to the group that the clapper “wears many hats,” and that it will become their best friend before the day is over.
This creates an atmosphere where participants are open and willing to embrace the clapper. That way when a side conversation picks up in the corner a light 👏👏👏 is able to bring the group’s attention back the speaker and the topic being discussed.
Even a 1-day strategy session can feel like a marathon, and If you have yet to witness the mind melting fatigue that washes over participants at the end of a long session it’s definitely a site to be seen.
As the facilitator it’s your job to keep a watchful eye over the group’s energy level and ensure that they have multiple opportunities to recharge. So whether that’s with strategically placed bathroom breaks, healthy snacks, or exuberant clapping 👏👏👏 when a great idea is shared don’t let the energy drop.
Clap forth and Prosper
Facilitators also wear a variety of hats and identifying the right tools for your sessions will take some trial and error. And while a party clapper won’t solve all of your facilitation challenges, I am confident it won’t leave you hanging… 👏👏👏
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